Sunday, April 29, 2007

Listening.


I'm wondering if my relationship with my CDs is typical or not.

Sometimes I buy one, listen to it non-stop for months, and pull it out regularly to have another fling with it.

Sometimes I buy one, like it, listen to it sporadically, and then forget all about it for years.

Sometimes I buy one, get distracted, and don't even bother listening to it for anywhere from 6- 12 months. Then I pull it out, give it a listen, and fall in love with it. Or sometimes not.

Sometimes I buy a whole mess of them, and end up not liking any of them. (Okay, this only happened once, but it was a lesson learned about going outside my genre.)

And now we have MP3s, which add a whole new twist to the experience. You can just buy a song instead of a whole album. This makes me worry that artists will completely stop trying to make their albums cohere into one whole work. And I haven't quite gotten a grip on how to organize my songs now. And what do I do with all these CDs I've ripped? And oh, this MP3 player that I asked for and my beloved DH bought me almost a year ago, and which I've listened to maybe once, because it feels like such a niggling chore to upload songs, put them in groups, and then take them off again and put on new ones. Oh, the guilt of that little blue gadget! I will master it, I promise, honey.

Anyway, what inspired this late-night post is that I'm listening to the MP3 version of an album I've had for years and years, and which falls into the second of my categories above...I listened to it every now and then for the first few years I had it, and now I'd say it's been three to five years since I've listened to it. And yet...as soon as it started to play, it took me right to the era when I did listen to it, usually late at night like I am now. It's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy by Sarah McLachlan, which I bought unheard, solely because I liked the title, in an age before I could listen to it on the Internet or in one of those kiosks at Barnes and Noble or Borders to see if it was worth the $15. So it was quite a gamble, at a time before Sarah became as well-known as she is now.

And I liked it. I didn't fall in love with it, but it completely suited those quiet, semi-depressed nights that I had a lot of at the time. Her voice is like coffee with cream, and the songs have an edginess under the mellow. Listening to it now, I realize how well it holds up. Unlike some of the other CDs I've splurged on over the years. So thanks, Sarah.

Now will someone come and make me some playlists for my MP3?

2 comments:

Mimi said...

Yeah, that happens to me too. Which reminds me, I have a CD I haven't listened to yet.

beverly d said...

I'm all of the above. I've been looking around my apartment trying to decide what to keep, what to purge.. and I have such a large collection of CDs and cassettes (yeah, cassettes) that I don't know where to start. I picked up a Lisa Loeb CD the other night intending to put it in the "sell" pile and then listened to it and it reminded me of that summer we went to Lilith Fair and now she's back in my "keep" pile. UGH! Part of me wants to just make a list of songs I like from CDs and then download them later, but I fear that in the end, the cost of downloading songs will be more expensive than if I had just kept the CDs.